New Hampshire | 50 states of population health

ROBIN COLLEN-ZELLERS. Director of Population Health at LRGHealthcare (Laconia, N.H.)

On the top challenge

"Part of what we all share in the state of New Hampshire is the opioid crisis.

The entire state is engaged in the Medicaid 1115 waiver, and while this waiver takes place in many other states, New Hampshire decided to focus on behavioral health and substance abuse disorders. I think the common denominator in our region is we're looking to address it from a social and community base because we know hospitals alone cannot address this issue. This is a collaborative initiative, where the hospitals along with mental health and substance abuse organizations, housing, transportation, veterans support, the local federally qualified health center and other organizations are working together to address the crisis in our region, which is hit especially hard."

On the hospital's response

"What we've done specifically is put care coordinators, social workers, substance use and behavioral counselors in place who are going to specifically focus on social, behavioral health and substance abuse issues. We're doing this in a wraparound approach to address the whole patient's needs. We are not just addressing the clinical issue and not just detoxing the patient or getting them into treatment, but addressing the social and economic issues facing patients as well, which are often major barriers to success." 

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